: SOFI TUKKER’s success was anything but planned. The band’s very existence happened haphazardly after Sophie Hawley-Weld met Tucker Halpern during an art show at Brown University, where they both happened to be performing. It only took a couple of months before the NYC-based duo penned their viral track “Drinkee”, which has since been featured in an Apple Watch Ad, racked up over 20 million Spotify streams, and received a Grammy nomination. The song was the first they ever wrote, and became the backbone of their wildly successful EP, Soft Animals. The duo’s unprecedented success with their first EP has left countless fans anticipating their next collection of songs, which will combine a guitar-led edge with the playfulness and myriad of international influences that has made their current catalogue of songs attain such recognition. Having already gotten as close to cultural world domination as a young act can get, SOFI TUKKER’s future is looking brighter than ever
: The Molochs is an LA-based duo that make proto-punk garage rock that pulls influence from their sun-soaked hometown's past. With nods to a little Stones and Kinks in there too, The Molochs effortlessly nail that Sunset Strip '66 vibe by taking the past apart without trying to recreate it. Dive in.
: There is nothing out there quite like Holy Fuck. Taking the world by surprise in 2005, the quartet—a hardcore thrift-store found-object punk band—sports a relentless commitment to rhythm and a sense for atmosphere better matched to a close encounter of the third kind than a simple rock concert. Unapologetically instrumental, noisy, and filled with sonic repercussions of low-budget hi-tech toys, Holy Fuck offer tracks that are, according to Pitchfork, "as pummelling as they are danceable".
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
: Unknown Mortal Orchestra, fronted by New Zealand-born, Portland-based Ruban Nielson, has that rare ability to both utilize and explore the roots of psychedelia to invent a brand new narrative. Known best for the unhinged psych-soul ballads on 'II' and the wildly cathartic and up-beat 'Multi-Love', UMO never fails to implement a dizzying feeling of airy, humid-ness against your temples by way of a psychedelic canvas built out of re-wired old synthesizers, intertwined guitar and trumpet and bouncing bass.
: Not many bands can handle long careers and continue to evolve from record to record: Blonde Redhead holds a place in this category. In the nearly 25 years of their career, the acclaimed New York-based trio has wandered through the noise rock of their early years, to the refined dreampop of Misery Is A Butterfly, to the sensual electronic textures of 2014’s Barragán. Despite the variety of styles, the band has always been able to keep a personality and a unique identity that is easily recognizable.
Fresh from the Numero box set Masculin Féminin (September 2016)and the remix album Freedom of Expression on Barragan (March 2016) , Japanese-born Kazu Makino and twin Italian-Americans Amedeo and Simone Pace have returned with a new EP, titled 3 O'CLOCK. The EP was released March 10th, 2017 on Asa Wa Kuru Records under license to Italian label Ponderosa Music & Art.
This melancholic EP, with an aromantic graft, follows the tour that, in 2016, saw Blonde Redhead reinvent their cult album Misery Is A Butterfly with a string quartet. The new atmospheres developed during this tour emerge occasionally in the pieces of 3 O’CLOCK, as the band pushes even more in the direction of a massive presence of strings and wind instruments such as the viola, cello, violin, clarinet, oboe, flute and trumpet. The EP was made with the help of, among others, the string quartet ACME (American Contemporary Music Ensemble), and Eyvind Kang, an American composer and violinist who collaborated with Blonde Redhead on Misery Is A Butterfly and the latest tour in support of the album.
: Quilt, formed in late 2008 in Boston, MA is comprised of Shane Butler, Anna Fox Rochinski, Keven Lareau and Taylor McVay who all met at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Known for their accessible psychedelic indie rock/pop vibe, the band started out by releasing a homemade tape in 2009 and toured DIY-style in a 1993 Buick Roadmaster. From there, Quilt caught the attention of Mexican Summer and released their widely-known self-titled debut in November 2011. The year 2014 saw the release of 'Held In Splendor' and Quilt's third full-length record 'Plaza' was released in 2016.
: Sarah Neufeld is a violinist and composer based in Montréal, Canada. Best known as a member of Arcade Fire
, she is also a founding member of the acclaimed contemporary instrumental ensemble Bell Orchestre
, and most recently as half of an exciting new duo with renowned saxophonist Colin Stetson
. Across the board, Neufeld's ear for the textures and sensibilities of contemporary electro-acoustic, avant-folk and indie rock music is nothing short of perfection.
: Pale Lips is singer Jackie, bassist Jamie, guitarist Ilona and drummer Lynn. Formed in 2013, this all-girl rock ‘n’ roll band has strutted their stuff on stage, opening for the likes of C.J. Ramone, The Queers, Paul Collins Beat, Nobunny and Belgian punk rockers The Kids. It's more than just four girls playing rock 'n' roll with a delicious '60s feels. It's full-on power-pop that touches on CBGB's era punk and glam with infectious attitude.
Death Valley Girls
: Think of Death Valley Girls as an acid-tripping science experiment that’s been buried alive, and resurrected as a sexually liberated dystopian chain-gang. A cosmic scar, if you will, on the hills of Echo Park, where the experiment began in 2013 by proto-punk Bonnie Bloomgarden and guitarist Larry Schemel — who got lost in the desert, returned to their haunted garage in Echo Park, and pieced together their vision with shopworn images of sexploitation babes, a blood-soaked Iggy Pop, and Bloomgarden’s series of phantasms, the result of spending a year in a mental institution, where she planned her neon-glowing odyssey by listening to Black Sabbath and UFO, reading about alien conspiracy theories, and deriving her band’s moral compass from a line she saw in a movie:
“Everybody’s gotta be in a gang,” from campy sexploitation romp Switchblade Sisters (1975).
: Nyssa is the producer and performer of her own sequin-encrusted beats, powerhouse vocals, and picaresque persona. Raised on the glitz and glam of yesteryear, Nyssa flips the script on masculinity in rock and roll, blitzing the boys’ club to pave the way for all of the bad girls. She uses her lyrical prowess to explore themes of modern-day feminine malaise, sexuality, and androgyny.
The Clyde Otis Music Group
: The Clyde Otis Music Group is a classic soul, R'n'B and hip hop catalog that includes some of the most widely covered and sampled works to date. Producers, writers and artists including Drake, Van Morrison, Notorious B.I.G, Michael Buble, Sharon Jones, Jamie XX, ASAP MOB, and Christina Aguilera have tapped into The Clyde Otis Music Group over the past few decades to find classic, soulful songs, interpreting them into modern versions or by sampling Otis' writing. These and other modern iterations prove the catalog's everlasting wealth of catchy choruses and classic hooks and that strong songwriting is the pillar of timeless music.
Clyde Otis remains an important historical figure in music from several angles: as a songwriter, a self-made producer, and A&R man. He wrote over 800 songs, responsible for a slew of chart toppers during his four-decade career. Otis was also among the first wave of songwriters who fought major labels for the right to keep his publishing while simultaneously working as a writer and producer. In 1958, his work caught the ear of the head of Mercury Records, and Otis was hired that year as the first African-American A&R executive for a major label. During his four short years with the label, Otis helped the company earn over $100 million in revenues, remarkably penning 33 of 51 hits for Mercury in 1962 alone.
Throughout his career, Clyde Otis worked and wrote with Aretha Franklin, Nat King Cole, BB King, the Isley Brothers, Dinah Washington and Wilson Pickett. His strength as a songwriter and producer was not limited to the sounds of the 1960s, and Otis saw success while living and writing in Nashville in the country music scene, working with Charlie Rich, Glen Campbell, Charlie Pride, and Randy Travis.
Lakes of Canada
: Founded in 2010 in Montreal, Lakes of Canada is a five-piece progressive folk-rock group with gospel and soul vocal harmonies. Lakes of Canada was voted #2 Best Local Folk Act and #10 Best Local Act in CULT Montreal’s “Best of Montreal 2014” reader’s poll. They have performed across Canada and been featured at Festivals including POP Montreal, Canadian Music Week, Festival Folk sur la Canal, M for Montreal, NXNE, and in 2012 won Best Band of the St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival.
: Omara "Bombino" Moctar, a young Tuareg guitarist and songwriter, was raised during an era of armed struggles for independence and violent suppression by government forces. His electrifying jams capture the spirit of resistance and rebellion while echoing with guitar riffs reminiscent of fellow Africans Tinariwen and Ali Farka Touré, not to mention rock and blues icons such as Jimi Hendrix, John Lee Hooker and Jimmy Page.
Barely Dressed Records
: Barely Dressed Records is the brainchild of Australian music gurus Katie Besgrove and Nick O’Byrne. In true indie fashion, the artist management duo created the label out of enthusiasm for the artists they love and support. They don’t claim to be pushing any boundaries, just doing what labels should do, which is to treat artists with the respect and care they deserve. Launching the label with the release of ‘Beloved’ by New Gods, Barely Dressed Records set a passionately heartfelt tone that reflects a genuine love for good and honest music.
They have since followed it up with impressive releases including Jess Ribeiro’s “Kill It Yourself” which marks a rebirth of sorts for the artist. After years on the road, her collaboration with Mick Harvey (PJ Harvey, The Bad Seeds) has proved to be a spark of inspiration, driving her sweet voice into an edgy, and at times ethereal direction. We also look forward to the upcoming release of 'Stadium Cake', the debut LP from the immensely talented duo, Oh Pep! Pepita Emerichs and Olivia Hally use violin and acoustic guitar in combination with electronic instruments and programmed percussion to create a beautifully compelling sound. Great things are bound to come from this incredible group of artists.
: Wishkaah is the new project from ctznshp's Jesse LeGallais. His debut album 'I Must Be Dreaming Of You' is a collection of spaced out love songs for a doomed future. It was written and recorded at LeGallais' home studio in Montreal over the winter of 2016 while he was recovering form surgery.
: Rising Australian Indie / Alt / Rock Artist Timberwolf is the moniker for Christopher Panousakis, a 24 year-old singer/songwriter from Adelaide, South Australia.
Timberwolf’s highly anticipated and long awaited debut album is due for release in late 2016 / early 2017. Having taken influences from psych rock and hip hop sounds dating back to the 60’s, Timberwolf’s debut album is set to be a big step up and away from his previous two EP releases.
Rolling Stone - “'There's a lot of talk about this 24 year old Adelaide-based artist, and with good reason - his lyrics are poignant, his music captivating, his motives pure”
: Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski are the Austin, TX-based husband/wife duo who together are Cross Record. The act make stirring yet sultry alt-rock that can be both quiet and serene and loud and spooky. Lead by Cross' wispy female vocals, the duo sport a brooding intensity through thick guitar, destabilized electronics, and heartbeat-like percussion. Think Daughter, but louder.
Jerusalem In My Heart
: Jerusalem In My Heart (JIMH) has been a live audio-visual happening since 2005, with Montréal-based producer and musician Radwan Ghazi Moumneh at its core. Moumneh is a Lebanese national who has spent a large part of his adult life in Canada and has been a fixture of the Montréal independent music community from his early days as guitarist in various notable 90s bands to his tireless activity as a sound engineer and producer over the last decade. Moumneh is also active in the Beirut and Lebanese experimental music scenes, where he spends a few months every year.
: Former frontman of the now defunct Smith Westerns, Cullen Omori returns with a new solo project via Sub Pop. A self-described “Friend to All/Sad Guy Serenader/Washed Up Superstar,” Omori’s new music picks up where Smith Westerns left off: bright, jangly pop with earwormy hooks and sharp writing. His debut is out 2016 on Sub Pop.
: The year, 2007. The Boys, Jacuzzi. Hatched inside a vulture's nest, Jacuzzi Boys emerged from deep within the Florida wilds, three radioactive chicks cawing for their piece of electric rock pie. With 'No Seasons (Florida's Dying)' they freaked their way through the swamps, a psycho stomp of a record, all hallucinations and hand claps. 'Glazin'' (Hardly Art) found a more polished sound. They installed AC units inside their mobile homes, found a way to turn neon into ice cubes. Now, with their third full-length, the self-titled 'Jacuzzi Boys', they're going grand, building limestone monuments to those that boogied before them, while writing hypnotic ear worms by the light of a cigarette. Gone is the swamp-thing snarl. In it's place, the indestructible cool of the casino slot-jockey with nothing to lose.
: You may know her as the front woman of rock ‘n’ roll band The Furrs, but Gabriella Cohen as her own musical entity is a unique songwriter who mixes eclectic pop with honest lyricism. Cohen has established herself as an enigmatic songstress who sings of bittersweet woes, all the while being backed by a full band. Her sound is truly infectious, as heard on early 2016's 10-track album titled 'Full Closure And No Details'.
Milk & Bone
: Milk & Bone is a new Montreal-based project founded by Laurence Lafond-Beaulne and Camille Poliquin. Both studio and touring musicians, they met when Electronic-Pop band Misteur Valaire invited them to sing on their most recent album 'Bellevue Avenue'. Milk & Bone was then officially named and born as a duo known for their deeply hypnotic harmonies and ethereal, airy production style. It's no surprise that their debut album 'Little Mourning' (via Bonsound) was instantly longlisted for the Polaris Music Prize in 2015.
: Little Shalimar (aka Torbitt Schwartz) is a multi-instrumentalist / producer / DJ whose musical scope transcends genre norms and draws from hip-hop, rock, afro-Cuban, Latin, electro, and beyond. The half-Lebanese Kentucky Colonel has worked with the likes of Elvis Costello, TV On The Radio, Steve Arrington, and Chin Chin (of which he’s a founding member).
Little Shalimar is also known for his collaborations with Run The Jewels. In addition to co-producing both of the widely praised RTJ albums (as well as El-P’s Cancer 4 Cure) and the cat-centric remix album Meow The Jewels, Schwartz composes for film and TV – most recently for Shan Nicholson’s Rubble Kings (2015), a chronic of life in New York from 1968 to 1975, when gangs ruled over the city. The documentary features both Shalimar’s original score and signature production style on lead single from the OST “Rubble Kings Theme (Dynamite)” by Run The Jewels.
: Kurt Vile isn't your traditional American singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer. No, he's so much more. Best known for his solo career (accompanied by his backing band The Violators) as well as his time with The War On Drugs, Vile does his own myth making as a man with an old soul voice in the age of digital everything. His new album 'b'lieve i'm goin down...' (released Sept 25/15 via Matador Records) encapsulates his energy as a musical force that spans from the "valley of ashes" of Guthrie all the way to the Cali canyons.
: BADBADNOTGOOD is a formally trained trio of young musicians made up of Matthew Tavares on keys, Chester Hansen on bass, and Alex Sowinski on drums. Since first meeting at music school in 2011, the three have challenged the rulebook on improvised instrumental music and taken a fresh look at the jazz tradition by setting their sights on the future.
With early champions including acclaimed BBC broadcaster Gilles Peterson and Tyler The Creator, the band released their first EP BBNG in June 2011 to wide praise. The marriage of jazz virtuosity and hip hop source material offered a new take on the traditional "standard" applied to the hip hop songbook; writing inspired arrangements for golden era classics instead of one-dimensional covers.
The band hit a landmark when introducing original material into their compositions with BBNG2 in 2012. New songs like "Rotten Decay", "Vices" or "UWM" carried on the proud heritage of musical juxtaposition by bringing together jazz, hip hop, punk, and dance music into vigorous balance. Since then, they've won praise from the four corners of the globe and collaborated with Bootsy Collins, RZA, Frank Ocean, Earl Sweatshirt, MF Doom, and Danny Brown among many. Their notorious live performances have brought fans across the whole musical spectrum together, taking the band around the world from Coachella to Glastonbury.
Now, the inseparable friends have released their biggest project to date 'III' on prodigious young label Innovative Leisure, a highly-anticipated project ushering in the group's newest explorations which are proving to be limitless.
: Patrick Krief is a Canadian singer-songwriter and musician currently residing in Montreal. He released his debut solo EP Take It Or Leave
in 2007 under the name of Krief and released his critically acclaimed solo album Hundred Thousand Pieces
in 2013 on the label Rock Ridge Music. Krief produced/mixed the record and played nearly all the instruments himself (drums, piano, keys, bass, guitar, percussion and vocals); he also composed the complex, melodically independent string, brass and choir arrangements. He is also known as the guitarist/co-writer of The Dears since 2004, a Canadian indie rock band founded in 1995, and a band member of Black Diamond Bay with who he released the album Calm Awaits
: Marc Ribot, who the New York Times describes as “a deceptively articulate artist who uses inarticulateness as an expressive device,” has released over 20 albums under his own name over a 30-year career, exploring everything from the pioneering jazz of Albert Ayler to the Cuban Son of Arsenio Rodríguez. His latest solo release, Silent Movies (Pi Recording 2010) has been described as a "down-in-mouth-near master piece" by the Village Voice and has landed on several “Best of 2010” lists including the LA Times and critical praise across the board. 2013 saw the release of “Your Turn” (Northern Spy), the sophomore effort from Ribot’s post-rock/noise trio Ceramic Dog, and 2014 saw the monumental release: “Marc Ribot Trio Live at the Village Vanguard” (Pi Recordings). Marc works regularly with Grammy® award winning producer T Bone Burnett and NY composer John Zorn. He has also composed and performed on numerous film scores such as "Walk The Line” (Mangold), "The Kids Are All Right," and "The Departed" (Scorcese).
: Toronto-based Programm was formed in 2009 by the likes of Jackie Game, Jacob Soma, Mark Plishewsky, and Andrew Reesor. The core foursome fuse together psychedelia electronica with distorted-sounding shoegaze. It's obsession at first listen.
: Presently situated at the heart of the creative breeding ground that is East Vancouver, Robbie Slade and Peter Ricq come from Nelson BC and Montreal with distinct perspectives. When Slade and Ricq get together as HUMANS, they assume the roles of producers and composers. They are a dynamic live indie electronic pop act in the vein of LCD Soundsystem, Jamie XX and Junior Boys that can impress audiophiles with their technical skills while curating a vibrant dance floor experience like a proper DJ would.
In HUMANS, Slade performs guitar, microKORG synthesizers, Roland SPD-S sampler, and lead vocals. Ricq plays what he calls cheap-ass electronic gear, including a Korg Electribe ESX synthesizer/sampler, a Roland MC-505 groovebox, an Elektron Octatrack sampler, and the microKORG vocoder, while contributing backup vocals.
: Eliot Kessel, co-collaborator of sister and fellow musician Lia Ices, is an extraordinaire of production and composition. Bringing his background in jazz composition and synthesis to the foreground, Kessel caught the attention of many because of his songwriting and producing contributions to Lia Ices' 'Ices'. The two worked in tandem to produce Ices' glorious indie pop offering, one that hints towards just how much talent Kessel has up his sleeve. Eliot, who also goes by "Benny Sagittarius" (the production moniker for him and his sister Lia), is a multifaceted force to be reckoned with, and this is only the beginning.
: Welcome to the world of Courtney Barnett – a hot, hazy place where ‘suburban banalities’ and ‘mindless procrastination’ have never sounded so compelling. Through a series of DIY releases and shows back home, to snowballing acclaim, the Melbourne-based singer, guitarist and songwriter has created a candid lyrical space for her growing legions of devotees.
Having already started to take things worldwide with her first LP collection, The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas, she cemented that stature with highly acclaimed sophomore LP Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit, and a trail of live appearances in her wake including a crushing performance of "Avant Gardner" on Jimmy Fallon's The Tonight Show. Courtney observes the world as it is, wrapped in distorted guitars and clever hooks.
: L.A.’s De Lux are a post-disco dance-punk DIY duo that sound like they could have come out of 1979 or 1982 just as easily as 2013. Founders and multi-instrumentalists Sean Guerin and Isaac Franco didn’t meet so much as simply appear to each other, sometime before high school ended and after learning to correctly fall off skateboards began. Even at age 18, however, it was the kind of connection that had been years in the making. Sean had been writing songs since he was 15 and had spent recent years recording and re-recording his own songs. And Isaac had been on a strict diet of classic and obscure disco and boogie music since he too was 15, figuring out the original source of hip-hop’s greatest samples thanks to an older brother with a DJ sideline and an enviable collection.
"Voyage" is their debut on L.A's Innovative Leisure label. With lead track “Better At Making Time,” De Lux roars through Psychedelic Furs or Duran Duran-style pop (“Love Is A Phase”), delivers shouts and whispers like James Murphy at his most frantic (“Make Space”), sinks into Eno-esque moments of bliss (“On The Day”) and rockets through the agit-funk David Byrne-style rave-up finale “Sometimes Your Friends Are Not Your Friends.”